The newly formed F Performance team will see Lexus’ global racing effort take shape in the States – beginning with 2016 – as the Japanese car manufacturer will throw the RC F GT3 in battle.
Thanks to a new racing venture with Paul Gentilozzi, the luxury carmaker formed its F Performance Racing team to field the RC F GT3 in a soon to be announced sports car series. The new race vehicle, as it name implies, it’s based on the production RC F model and is built to comply with FIA’s GT3 specifications. Moreover, it will serve as a test-bed for future Lexus “F-branded” models, as Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager, Lexus division explained:
“A core mission of F Performance Racing was to strengthen the Lexus’ F brand by applying lessons gleaned from racing, while nurturing an engineering culture that transfers that knowledge to dynamic, high performance passenger car development. We are very excited about what this partnership and race effort can mean for the brand in the years to come,”
Built by Toyota Technocraft Japan, the car weighs only 2,866 lbs. (1,300 kg), while its 5.0-litre V8 mill produces over 500 hp and is mated to a 6-speed Sequential gearbox with paddle shifters. Veteran driver and road racing legend Scott Pruett will be in charge of taming the brute, as Lexus says he will bring a “wealth of experience” during the vehicle development phase.
Mind you, in its inaugural year, the team’s primary focus will involve further vehicle development, whilst the full sports-car racing schedule is planned for the 2017/18 season.
Pruett and Lexus aren’t at their first collaboration, as the racing driver earned three driver championships in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Championship Series (from 2004-2007) and won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2017, all at the wheel of Lexus-powered, Riley prototypes.
“When Lexus left motorsports, I pledged to them that I would be there to help them return when that time came. That time is now and I could not be more ecstatic to be representing Lexus as a performance brand ambassador and on the track in the F Performance RC F GT3”, said Pruett.